12 Jan Your Cyber Security Needs for 2022 – A Checklist
In the previous article we explored some of the most common forms of cyber threats that you and your team face daily, we explained that these attacks are becoming more frequent and also more and more severe – it is for this reason we recommend that cyber security takes pole position in your list of business concerns.
We will now outline a cyber security checklist for you to use, which will aid you in defending your systems and ensure that your defences – and team – are well equipped to combat a potentially business defining cyber attack.
Your Cyber Security Checklist
- Documented Policies
- Acceptable use Policy
- Modern and updated software and tools
- Frequent employee training
- An effective data backup procedure.
We see these five steps as the basics of cyber security. Let’s explore them in more detail.
Having written policies that are clear and concise is crucially important. You must ensure that your team reads, digests, and, most importantly, signs them all – doing this will highlight to your team how serious you are about cyber security, in turn improving its quality from the start. These policies should outline the various security guidelines in place around the entire organization, along with your team’s role in improving that security – only in this way can you be sure that your entire workforce – no matter its size – is all working from the same set of instructions. Each member of your team signing the policy is written proof of their understanding of their role and a binding contract that they will face the consequences if they don’t behave as instructed in the policy.
Acceptable use policy
Your Acceptable use policy will consist of rules regarding the use of your organization’s assets or data. By putting this in place you can be sure that your team are using the tools you have provided as instructed, and only as instructed. Everyone – regardless of their role – must read and sign the policy before having access to any of the tools mentioned in the policy.
Modern and up-to-date software and tools
Your team must be using modern software and tools wherever possible to ensure security. All modern tools and software will contain the most up-to-date security measures as standard if you are purchasing them on a SaaS (Software as a Service) subscription – but be wary, because if you are purchasing them yourself on a one-off purchase they will need updating manually. Using legacy operating systems is dangerous! You are opening the doors to attack. But modern tech is not entirely impenetrable – no matter what you do there will always be vulnerabilities – it is because of this fact that you need a patch management programme. You must take advantage of all patches released by vendors, because not only do they improve the software, app, or programme they are made for but they also bolster its security capabilities too.
Employee education must be in your cyber security checklist – training your employees will make you feel confident that your team know how to use the tools you provide them with, and how to navigate and communicate with your system in a secure way. Once your team are competent, they will even be able to spot and report any issues that they happen to come across. Educating them will start a cyber security culture in your organization, so training your team on what they are looking for will be a massive advantage to your business. Part of this education should include lessons on how to secure their emails, cloud accounts, personal devices, and information systems.
An effective data backup policy
As we have said previously, it doesn’t matter how much money you invest in cyber security or how well you educate your team on their role in the security of your organization – there is no guarantee that you will be entirely safe from attack. Preparing for the worst-case scenario is important – you can do this by making a disaster recovery plan, where different parts of your business have different procedures that need following in the event of an attack. Developing these disaster recovery policies will put you in good stead to not just contain an attack and stop it penetrating other parts of the business but also enable you to recover quickly afterwards and return to normal business as soon as possible.
Don’t take this checklist as a strict set of rules – you must read it through then adapt it to the way you want to run your business, because everyone works differently and the ways they secure their businesses are different. It can be a very difficult and an extremely anxiety-inducing task to make sure that all parts of your business are cyber secure, so, if you would like some help, contact our expert team, and see what we can do for you.
Founded in 1984 as Horizon, Horizon started off as a custom software company doing work for Snap-on Tools. We rapidly added helpdesk and network support to the business and have continued expanding our capabilities ever since – all while also successfully transitioning to a second generation of owners.
Our team has over a hundred years of combined experience in virtually every field of IT. We are trusted by clients of every size, from ‘mom ‘n’ pop’ local businesses all the way to multinational corporations who have heavy security and inter-connectivity requirements. Our employees deliver a truly customer-focused direction in everything we do.
After more than thirty years in business, Horizon continues to grow both our client base and our knowledge. We look forward to working with you to help your business enjoy that same success. Contact us now and see what we can do you.